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Sight Restored

Twenty-two years ago, when Nati and Liat Cohen*’s daughter Moriya was seven months old, her parents noticed a strain in one of her eyes. They consulted with a number of ophthalmologists, finally bringing the infant to Professor Ben-Ezra of Hadassah-Ein Kerem hospital, known as one of Israel’s leading eye specialists.

After a series of comprehensive X-rays, some under total anesthesia, Professor Ben-Ezra informed the Cohens that he had determined that the child had a malignant tumor in her eye, and recommended that she have an urgent operation to remove her eye together with the tumor. In a professional and restrained manner, the doctor explained that if the operation was not done soon, the cancerous growth was liable to spread towards her brain and her other eye, making the operation far more complex and dangerous. Ever since then, Moriya required special lenses adapted for her eye, according to her rate of growth.

Life for the Cohens gradually returned to normal. Their daughter underwent regular checkups, and everything seemed to be healing properly. Until Moriya reached the age of three-and-a-half. At one of the routine check-ups at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, the girl was examined by Dr. Pe’er, who had just returned to the hospital’s ophthalmology ward after a tour of duty in Africa. When he heard that the child had not undergone any examinations under anesthetic since the operation, he was shocked.

He set a date for a complete and intensive examination. After the tests had been completed, he came out, hands clasped, and regretfully informed the parents that he had found a malignant tumor on the other eye… He tried to calm them by explaining in detail that to their good fortune, the growth had not yet reached a dangerous size; it was small as a pea. It was located ont he eye’s outer edge, where it was not likely to cause blindness. He told them about a special type of laser ray treatment, which would make an operation unnecessary.

“This special ray penetrates the eye,” Dr. Pe’er explained, “and freezes the tumor.”

The Cohens decided to that because their daughter’s condition was so sensitive, they wanted to first consult with top experts before agreeing to any treatment. Nati called his brother in Chicago, who made inquiries and recommended a Professor Schilz, who worked for a hospital in Philadelphia.

At that point, Nati and Liat made their first connection with Chabad. Nati’s father-in-law introduced him to Rabbi Yechiel Malov of Rishon LeZion, a unique Jew who shows real concern for others. When Nati told him that he was flying to the United States on Sunday, he practically begged him to reschedule the flight for Saturday evening, so that he could pass by the Lubavitcher Rebbe with his wife and daughter at the famous Sunday dollars distribution and request his blessing.

Rabbi Malov saw that Nati was hesitating, and he said, “Bring me the tickets and I’ll make the arrangements.” He managed to move their flight up to Saturday night.

When they arrived on Sunday morning at the airport in New York, they were greeted by Nati’s brother and a friend of Rabbi Malov, a Chabad chassid who arrived to show them the way to 770 and to explain how to conduct themselves when coming before the Rebbe.

Liat went before the Rebbe first, and came out with a stunned look on her face and her whole body shaking. She told Nati that there was no reason to continue on to Philadelphia because the Rebbe had already blessed their daughter that she should merit health, marriage, and good deeds. Then came Nati’s turn to pass the Rebbe. He briefly related the entire chain of events to the Rebbe and asked for a blessing. The Rebbe looked at him with compassion.

The Rebbe then handed Nati one dollar for himself, one dollar for Moriya, and a third dollar for the entire family, and gave a blessing for success and health.

Despite their great confidence in the Rebbe’s assurance that there was nothing to worry about and everything would be fine, Nati still asked his brother to take him to their appointment with Professor Schilz, since everyone spoke about him with such praise.

They arrived at Professor Schilz’s clinic in Philadelphia with mixed feelings and emotions. All of their daughter’s medical information since her infancy was placed on his table. He read the material at length, and then set out to make his examinations. After several long minutes, he came out and gave the Cohens an immeasurable shock.

He turned to them and said, “G-d Alm-ghty, where is it?”

Everything had disappeared, both the scar that was left from the previous operation and the pea-sized growth that appeared clearly in all the x-rays that Dr. Pe’er had taken and sent to the professor.

Through his blessing, the Rebbe had simply eliminated the growth.

Today, Moriya Cohen learns in college and is having much success in her studies. She also knows quite well – as her entire family does – in whose merit her sight was saved.


*Names changed to protect their privacy

 

 


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